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Moderna's mRNA vaccine passes important first hurdle.
Many of you probably already heard that the Moderna vaccine raised a strong immune response in all participants...
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Taking care of a family member, caregiving, does not impact your health
In the U.S. it is estimated that at least 17 million people care for loved ones with significant health...
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A review of vaccine efforts against SARS-CoV-2
The Journal of Virology published a review by Moore and Klasse that summarizes the herculean efforts...
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What does being immune to an infectious disease mean?
There is a ton of talk, justifiably so, about developing immunity to SARS-CoV-2, and whether is it long-lasting?...
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Latest News on COVID-19
Hydroxychloroquine The NIH halted trials of hydroxychloroquine. While the drug did not show significant...
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Gut microbe may fight obesity and diabetes

  Recent evidence is showing us that hundreds or even thousands of microbes in our gut is contributing to human health more than just aiding digestion.  A study published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences led by Patrice Cani and her team, who study the relationship between gut bacteria and metabolism, suggested that a specific gut microbe in the human body could help against obesity and metabolic disorders such as diabetes type 2. The specific gut bacterium, Akkermansia mucin...

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New Antibiotic Found That Attacks MRSA Found in Ocean Microbe

  Methicillin-resistance Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is a bacterium that generally causes difficult to treat infections in humans.  Beta-lactam antibiotics attack agents that contain the Beta-lactam ring, successfully inhibiting bacterial wall synthesis and eventually killing the bacterium. Bacteria then develop a resistance to the drug by synthesizing Beta-lactamase, an enzyme which attacks the Beta-lactam ring. Beta-lactam antibiotics include penicillins and cephalospor...

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Overactive Immune Response Blocks Itself

  Natural killer cells (NK cells) are an integral part of the innate immune system that serves as the first line of defense against infectious disease causing pathogens.  This important role lead to the assumption that the more activated NK cells present during an immune response, the better.  However, research done at the Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research (HZI) has shown that this principle does not apply to all stages of the immune response. Natural killer cells (NK cells...

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Researchers use child immune response genes to distinguish between types of infections

  At a time when there is great concern over the risks of antibiotic resistance, researchers at Washington University in St. Louis have found a new way to distinguish between fevers in children caused by either bacteria or viruses.   In a study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Hu, Yu, Crosby, and Storch measured utilization of genes for the immune response in febrile children, some of which turned out to be infected with bacteria or one of three different...

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Predatory Bacteria and Human Health

  There are many example strains of pathogenic bacteria that have developed resistant to drugs. The reduced effectiveness of antibiotic drugs for treating infections is increasingly a concern for doctors and patients alike. Pneumonia is caused by a microbial infection of the lungs, and if untreated it can be painful and fatal. Traditionally pneumonia is treated by using antibiotic drugs to combat the infecting microbes. However, Klebsiella pneumoniae is one example of a drug resistant bacteria tha...

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New Method Discovered to Detect Proteins Using Nano-sensors

  A team of researchers from Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) recently discovered a new method called parallel protein analysis to detect mircoorganismal activity in human bodily fluids. They have designed a test that can identify thousands of different proteins and detect the presence of viruses. The new method is very quick and cost effective. One of the chemists involved in the research, Professor Carsten Sönnichsen, said “ we see possible applications this technique in medicine...

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Living at the mouth of an underwater volcano

  Deep-sea hydrothermal vents play host to an exciting array of marine life. At the base of these ecosystems are intricate communities of microorganisms. These bacteria and achaea survive at an astonishing range of temperatures, from more than 120°C at the mouth of the vents, to less than 10°C farther away. Characteristic to some genera is the assembly of orange and white “mats,” masses of bacteria turned colorful from the oxidation of sulfur. A recent article fo...

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The biofilm matrix

  In the microbial world, cooperation between multiple species is a novel way to combat the pressures of nutrient limitation, chemical damage, and other struggles that microorganisms constantly face. As such, dynamic and complex communities are frequently formed. An example of this is the biofilm—a thick, highly structured aggregate of microorganisms that often forms in aqueous environments, particularly along surfaces or at water-air interfaces. Biofilms owe their success to the fact that,...

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MRSA: Farming up trouble

  MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus) has distressed hospitals for more than forty years and also has been infecting individuals outside of healthcare settings since 1995. MRSA is responsible for 94,000 infections and 18,000 deaths every year in the United States. Because MRSA initially appeared on a US farm, many scientists, such as epidemiologist Tara Smith, have dedicated their research in determining whether farms’ use of antibiotics is contributing to the increa...

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Cycloviruses could be causing neurological infections

  According to this article, it seems that a group of viruses known for their circular genome found in a few severe cases in Vietnam and Malawi could be linked to neurological diseases such as brain inflammation. This group of viruses is referred to as cycloviruses. More studies would need to be done to prove the connection between the two. For the cases in Vietnam, vexed researchers kept coming up short with answers for patients with infected central nervous systems. After considerable di...

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